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Acts 3:11-20 In the name of Jesus, you have been healed from your sins!

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Questions arise when a child says something like, “Mommy said that I can have candy before dinner.” The adult watching the child is quick to call out the misuse of Mommy’s name to justify doing something wrong. On the other hand, we praise a child when they say something like, “Daddy says do not talk to strangers.” The adult watching the child is quick to affirm the correct and good use of Daddy’s name and truth taught by Daddy. Even children know the power behind a name and learn to use it for bad or good behavior. There is power in Jesus’ name. He fulfilled all the prophecies about the Savior and so we have healing from our sins in his name.

We often use the name of another person to justify our behavior. The name of a popular doctor or nutritionist might justify your new or continuing diet. Your professional or athletic gear may bear the name of a particular person or company to reflect an image or identity you admire and aspire to be like. When you use the name of someone else it communicates something, so it is good to understand the impression left by a name when you use it.

Peter and John did not use their names to heal a man. In our Old Testament reading from Acts 3, Peter and John were in Solomon’s Colonnade on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. They had healed a man who was unable to walk. The healing stirred up the people, who came running to Peter and John, but 12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.

Peter was quick to point the people away from himself and John. He then redirected the people to the true power and authority behind the healing, Jesus. In just a few sentences, with bullet point facts like those seen in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, Peter explained the events of Jesus’ life. He made it clear that these events happened according to God’s plan. The God of the Jews, of Israel, who made promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is Jesus who died and rose, and thus still works powerfully. Peter’s words convicted the people of their ignorant disowning of their Savior.

We have been as ignorant as the people who did not immediately recognize the power of Jesus. We have heard the points of Peter’s preaching many times regarding all Jesus did to save us, yet we do not use his name for good. We take the name of Jesus and use it for darkness, sin and unrighteousness. The seriousness of misusing Jesus’ name becomes very clear when we realize the power and authority of Jesus’ name. This power and authority of the resurrected Jesus is the power behind our baptism that washed us clean of sin and brought us into God’s family.

Our sins are exposed with a simple check up on our lives using the phrase “in the name of Jesus.” We can do a spiritual check up by recalling thoughts, words and actions, and putting the name of Jesus in front of them. Here are some examples, “in the name of Jesus, I drank enough to go beyond sobriety and good decisions,” “in the name of Jesus, I lied to my spouse,” “in the name of Jesus, I lied to my parents,” “in the name of Jesus, I commit adultery with my eyes, heart, hands or body,” “in the name of Jesus, I started or continued a rumor to hurt someone.”

We could go on, but you can fill in your own list and I can fill in mine. Our New Testament reading from 1 John 1, warns us about doing evil while claiming to be saved in the name of Jesus, 5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. This is a clear warning to avoid pursing and submitting to sin. When we walk in the darkness, we walk away from the light of forgiveness in the name of Jesus and into lies, falsehood, hopelessness, death and hell.

Peter did not leave the people ignorant to the power behind the miraculous healing of the man who could not walk. Another way to say it is that Peter did not leave this miraculous event that astonished the people up for interpretation. In Acts 3, Peter said, 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see. Peter credited Jesus as the power behind this miracle. Peter had faith that Jesus’ name had the power to heal, so he invoked it. This was not a faith healing in which the person wanting to be healed musters enough faith to be healed. Rather, this was Peter recognizing Jesus, the one source of healing power, and unleashing that power to heal this man. The idea that this Biblical account is up for interpretation is wrong and evil. The Bible is clear truth and understood by referencing the rest of Scripture, not our opinions.

Our sins are wiped away in the name of Jesus. The same truth Peter preached to the people in Solomon’s Colonnade applies to us. After our sins are exposed, we are called to repent for the forgiveness of sins through Jesus as we hear in Acts 3, 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. When our sins are exposed, the healing does not come from within. Jesus gives us healing from himself. You can picture it like this, Jesus is the doctor examining you in the hospital bed who identifies your cancer, sickness, disease, etc.

Then, he removes it and puts it into himself, so that instantly, you are healed and jump off the table, while he falls to the floor deathly ill. He then is placed in the hospital bed to die. And he died, the time of death was called, the white sheet pulled over his face, the death certificate signed and he was wheeled to the morgue. Then, three days later, you get the call that he is alive. After Jesus rose, we hear his voice in our Gospel reading from Luke 24, 44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Jesus is the reason Peter called the people to repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus is the reason I get to confidently tell all of you that your sins are forgiven. Jesus is the reason you get to tell one another that your sins are forgiven.

The historic prophetic resurrection of Jesus was recorded to assure us that our sins have been wiped away. The risen Jesus has power. He backs up the call to repent. He is the assurance of forgiveness. The Holy and Righteous One, the Author of Life, Jesus the Savior and Christ leaves no room for interpretation. With this unchanging truth, John comforts us in our New Testament reading from 1 John 2, 1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

With a heart filled with love, John encourages all of us. As those living in the forgiveness of Jesus, we are encouraged to avoid and struggle against sin. We are also pointed to Jesus when we do sin. Our confidence in being right with God is not in how we feel or how we act, but in Jesus. Although Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins does affect how we feel and act. The assurance of eternal life and the refreshing you absolutely have waiting in heaven is the astonishing power of Jesus. It is the greatest healing we can hope for in this world.

Even children know the power behind a name. Children and adults often use the name of another person to justify their behavior. Peter used the power of Jesus’ name to heal a man, but more than that preached forgiveness in the name of Jesus. Our sins are wiped out through Jesus’ death and resurrection. May the grace of God astonish us every day and fill us with love for him as we put “in the name of Jesus” before all we think, say and do. This is the power of Jesus’ name, that in the name of Jesus, you have been healed from your sins. Amen.

Gunnar Ledermann, Pastor Divine Peace Church

Gunnar Ledermann

I’m passionate about Rockwall’s vibrant community and actively engage with local non-profits and community organizations, including the Rockwall Chamber of Commerce, the City of Rockwall, and the Downtown Rockwall Association. My background includes a bachelor’s degree in Classical Languages and a master’s degree in divinity. Currently serving as a pastor at Divine Peace Church in Rockwall, I also enjoy spending time with my wife, Marinda, and our three children.

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